Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.
8 You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
9 Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors!
10 As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11 Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and mercifulJames 5:7-11 (NRSV)
Any time of waiting takes patience. James reminds us that the farmers know our plight and show us what it takes to be fruitful. Understanding that life is a process and that God’s timing is always best can be overwhelming.
Two aspects of patience James lifts up are grumbling and endurance.
Grumbling…how I wish he would have skipped that one! I would rather of James talked about fasting or solitude or just about anything else…but he hits me between the eyes instead. To wait through circumstances without a “woe is me” attitude or perhaps more detrimental a “woe to them” is a sign of God at work in our lives. Our witness is always on display but never more-so than when our circumstances are less than ideal. It is then that people want to see how we will respond.
Endurance. To take whatever is in our life and not try to microwave it to completion but rather allow it to take its full time and see what God may do in and through it.
I wonder if you, like me, needed to hear this word from James this morning? A good reminder that patience is not the work of the weak but can only be accomplished through the strength God alone gives.
He is coming…let us be patient.